Called Tetsugaku no Michi in Japanese, the Philosopher's Path was named for Kyoto University philosophy professor Nishida Kitaro, who walked this route as a daily meditation. A meandering path in a rural neighborhood overlooking a canal, it's the perfect place for a contemplative afternoon walkabout.
The canal is part of a larger one used to power Japan's first hydroelectric power plant
Fireflies sometimes appear on hot summer evenings
It can be accessible by train then by bus.
From Kyoto Station, take the Karasuma Line to Marutamachi Station. Walk about two minutes to the Karasuma Marutamachi bus stop. Take bus #204 or #93 to the Kinrinshakomae bus stop, and walk about five minutes to the path.
The path begins about 100 meters north of Eikan-do Temple at Nyakuoji-bashi in northern Higashiyama and stretches north, finishing at Ginkaku-ji temple. Quaint cafes and restaurants line the path if you need a break. If you walk steadily, it will only take you about 30 minutes to complete the walk, but most people make it a contemplative stroll.
Don't hesitate to veer off the path to explore the many temples and shrines that surround it, including Otoyo Shrine, Honen-in, Zenrin-ji, and Eikan-do.
The path is lined with cherry trees, so it is crowded during the hanami season. However, the area empties by sunset and you can enjoy the trees and your walk in peace.